the fanfiction tag!

hey, everyone! so since i started this blog earlier this year, i’ve talked about reading a lot. i’ve talked about my favorite books, my least favorite books, my favorite book quotes–i’ve pretty much done it all. but i realized that something i’ve never talked about is my writing–more specifically, fanfiction. this post is actually a little nervewracking to make, since fanfiction is something i’ve kept to myself for so long, but i don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. so without further ado, let’s get started with the fanfiction tag!

01. do you read or write fanfiction and why?

BOTH. at first, i was just reading, but i quickly decided that i wanted to write too. i had always been a writer, but there is nothing like putting something you’ve created out there and getting comments on it. to me, it is the greatest feeling in the world. middle school was a really difficult time for me; i was very insecure and lonely, and i didn’t have many friends, but fanfic was my outlet. i made so many friends through the community and i wrote so much and read so much.

02. how and when did you discover fanfiction? how old were you?

i discovered fanfiction the summer before sixth grade. i had recently developed an obsession with one direction, and i began to follow an imagines page on facebook. while i was reading the imagines, i was all, “imagine if there were actual stories about this!” you can imagine how excited i was when 11-year-old me discovered a whole website dedicated to one direction fanfiction.

03. how has fandom and fiction evolved since you found it?

things have definitely changed since i first discovered fanfiction. i think that stanning a band is one of the more difficult ones, because you’re always in constant fear of them breaking up. it’s not like that with stanning a singer or an actor, but it’s definitely similar to writing fic for a show, because you’re always scared that it will be canceled. when one direction went on hiatus at the end of 2015, the 1d fanfic world definitely took a turn. i kept on writing obsessively up until summer 2016. i still love one direction, but it became harder to write about something that was no longer intact. i still write, but not as much as i used to, and the community has gotten a lot smaller. plus, the website went down, which unfortunately resulted in a lot of people leaving the 1d fanfic world.

04. do you still engage with it in the way you used to?

like i said before, not the way i used to. i took a break for a long time, because i’ve just been so busy with school, but i still get ideas from time to time. i still have 2 unfinished stories that i would really like to complete; however, i haven’t updated since the summer. i still read, though, but i mainly just reread my old favorites, since there aren’t many new fanfics being published anymore.

05. which fandoms do you enjoy reading/writing?

i only ever read/write one direction, but i would really like to start reading harry potter fanfiction. i’ve heard that there are some really good dramione fics out there.

06. who are your OTPs (one true pairings)?

to be honest, i barely even see 1D fic as fanfiction, because so much of it is originally created. i’d say that about 95% of fanfics are AUs (alternate universe), which means that the boys are not famous in it. so that means the world, the love interest, and even the featured band member are of your original creation. really, the only thing they have in common with reality is the same name and physical features. everyone’s OTP is different, since there isn’t really 1 or 2 big couples, the same way there are with TV shows, books, or movies. however, i would say my OTP is grace and harry from my favorite fanfiction, sugar on the asphalt.

07. have you told anyone that you write fanfiction?

even though i don’t write it as much anymore, fanfiction is still my biggest secret. up until my 3rd year writing it, no one knew about it at all, until i told a former friend, because she had also discovered fanfiction. in 9th grade, when my fics had really taken off, i told one of my best friends, because she also read fic, and she told me to tell my sister. it was really nervewracking at first, but i did, and after that, i ended up telling my cousin too. that just shows how much of a secret fanfiction is to me: i didn’t even tell my cousin or my sister, who are probably my best friends in the world, up until my 4th year of writing it. to this day, those 4 people are still the only ones who know.

08. what does fanfiction mean to you?

i can’t even begin to explain what fanfiction means to me, because it’s just so special. i was so lonely in middle school, but i almost wish i could go back to those years, just because of how much fanfic was in its prime. i was reading and writing all the time; at one point, i was updating 3 stories per week. and no matter how bad of a day i’d had, fanfiction could always make me feel better.

i can think of a specific instance where fanfic really managed to change my whole mood. i was eleven years old, at the beginning of sixth grade–november 2012, i still remember it. it was the day of an audition for a talent show, and the teacher had been so horrible to me. at that time, i loved to sing and there was nothing i wanted more than to sing a thousand years in the talent show. long story short, the teacher told me i sucked and i was way too confident for a voice that wasn’t even good. i still remember her words to this day, and it’s contributed to some serious stage fright. anyways, i was devastated. after crying in the bathroom, i went to the library to wait for my mom and i pulled out my laptop. after looking around to make sure that no one else was looking, i went on the fanfiction website and i freaked out when i saw i had my very first review ever. (yes, i had been writing fanfiction for 5 months, and this was my first review. i’m sure you can see that my early work was not very good.) it was simple, only around a sentence or two, saying, “keep up the good work! i believe in you.” i still remember how much that meant to me. some stranger i had never met, who probably lived on the other side of the world, believed in me. it didn’t matter if my teacher didn’t believe in me, if my friends didn’t, even if i didn’t–someone believed in me, and that was enough.

09. do you prefer canon-based fanfiction or AU?

AU always. i’ve only ever written one canon fic (we call it OU in the 1d fanfic world, i’m not sure about other fandoms), which was surprisingly my most successful fic ever, but i love AU. i love creating my own world and characters and making harry (i always write about harry styles) anything i want him to be. it’s actually cathartic.

10. tell us about a fanfiction you’ve read.

i have read so many, but my favorite fanfiction of all time is boys don’t cry by oxygenstyles. i wouldn’t even call this a fic, i’d call it a book, because it’s definitely one of the best pieces of writing i’ve ever read in my life. boys don’t cry, which is unfortunately no longer available, is an AU about harry and isabel, two uni students who work together in a bowling alley. at first, they hate each other, but they soon grow to care for each other. it’s so much more than your average hate-to-love fic, though. it deals with drug abuse and mental health in such a poignant way, and it never failed to make me cry. i wish it was still available, so i could read it over and over again, but i’ll leave you with my favorite quotes, that are still available on tumblr.

“but then she remembered life was like this–it gave and it took without any sort of reason or logic that could explain it. you revise for months for an exam and the one question you didn’t want comes up. you wait all year for your one week holiday and it rains the whole time. you tell someone you love them and they don’t say it back. you think you have time, but you don’t.

because harry had lips that could make you cry, the color of raspberries, chapped and bitten so that there were splotches of red where he’d broken tiny little blood vessels underneath the skin. he had dark, murky shadows under his eyes that looked like bruises, that made you wonder what he stayed up for, who he lost sleep over, and you caught yourself thinking about it much too often for it to be okay. he was all wide eyes and cheekbones and eyelashes, and then he smiled and flashed his dimples and crinkled the corners of his eyes and broke your heart. and he knew it. he knew it, he knew it, he knew it.

i still wear your jumper sometimes, the one i’ve had since april. one day in august somebody who smelled exactly like your citrus shampoo sat in front of me on the bus and i started crying. i love you. i love you. i love you.

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